People who include nuts in their diet are more likely to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of overweight and obesity, according to new research published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
During the study, by the Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California, diet and lifestyle data was gathered from more than 373,000 individuals from 10 European countries.
The researchers found that participants gained a mean average of 2.1 kilograms during the five-year period of the study. However, participants who ate the most nuts not only had less weight gain than their nut-abstaining peers, but also enjoyed a 5 per cent lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Previous nut studies have found that they are positively associated with a variety of health benefits, including healthy ageing and memory function in seniors.
This study, however, represents the first time the relationship between nuts and weight has been investigated on a large scale. Peanuts, which are technically a ground nut, were included in the study along with almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts, which are classified as tree nuts.
The study’s lead author, Jose Sabaté recommends that people eat nuts more often, pointing out that they offer energy, good fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals: ’To me, this confirms that nuts are not an obesogenic food. Eat nuts during your meal. Put them at the center of your plate to replace animal products. They’re very satiating.’